Damon Runyon Researchers

Meet Our Scientists
Elizabeth A. Costa, PhD

Dr. Costa is studying how cells interact with one another through cell-surface adhesion molecules. During cancer progression, cancer cells can change expression of some of these molecules to metastasize and evade the immune system. Dr. Costa is using the parasite Toxoplasma gondii, which can recognize and invade nearly all mammalian cells, to uncover novel proteins involved in this recognition. By characterizing the specificity of these interactions for different host cells, she hopes to expand the ability to recognize and mark specific cells, which could be harnessed for cancer diagnostics and therapeutic intervention.

Project title: "Exploring the cell adhesion landscape through host-pathogen interactions"
Institution: Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research
Named Award: Robert Black Fellow
Award Program: Fellow
Sponsor(s) / Mentor(s): Sebastian Lourido, PhD
Cancer Type: All Cancers
Research Area: Cell Biology